Waqar Zaka wanted by authorities in cryptocurrency scam

FIA says Zaka used social media for charity purposes, international crowdfunding
<p>Photo: Waqar Zaka/Facebook</p>

Photo: Waqar Zaka/Facebook

Former TV host and social media influencer Waqar Zaka is on the run from authorities in Pakistan after a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him in an alleged Rs86 million cryptocurrency scam.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) initiated an inquiry into alleged virtual currency-related transactions from Zaka’s bank account after receiving a report from the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).

According to the FIA, Zaka’s bank account showed aggregated credits of Rs86.1 million and debt of Rs87.1 million over the past three years, with the funds being credited through foreign remittance and clearing of cheques and subsequently debited through internal transfer to the accounts of his family members.

The FIA also claims that Zaka used social media for charity purposes and international crowdfunding, receiving Rs6.8 million in the process, which was withdrawn through a pay order and interbank fund transfer.

Zaka is accused of promoting cryptocurrency like Bitcoin on his social media accounts and of committing offences punishable under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020, and Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947.

He has also been accused of initiating false propaganda against state institutions, posting objectionable material and threats against government officials, and inciting the public against the state.

Zaka failed to appear in court when the case was heard on Thursday and is believed to be avoiding arrest.

The judge has adjourned the hearing till January 5 and directed the office to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against Zaka. It is unclear at this time where he is located or if he will surrender.


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